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How long does your chemo treatment take?

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

Just curious - my husband typically has a 2 to 3 hour wait before chemo starts.  So a 2 1/2 hr treatment can easily last 6 hrs.  Is that typical?   It's a bit frustrating.  He gets early morning appts - usually 9 or 9:15.   And then he sits there until almost lunch time some days. He is doing folfox plus 30 mins of avastin.   He was doing 1/2 hr before and after of the calcium/magnesium for neuropathy but said he doesn't know if it's doing anything and worth the extra hour in an already long day.

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Three hours.  Folfiri with avastin.  Goes home with the 5fu pump (like most people do). 

 

Chelsea

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1225
Joined: Oct 2010

Mine was about tht also.  It was a weigh in, etc.  Then a blood test. A short visit withthe Oncologist and off to the IV and then the pump.  About three hours.  Then it was a 90 minute drive home. A long day.

 

Now, we live about a mile from the Oncologist. It will be a short drive and a short drive home. I start Chemo in 2 weeks.

 

Sending our thoughts and prayers!

Best Always, mike

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 455
Joined: May 2012

Long day, finished 12/17/2012 yay. I was on Folfox, but before got steroid and zofran 1/2 hour, then amend (nausea med) 1/2 hour, then 2 hours for oxy and 2 hours for Leucovorin, then the wonderful 5FU pump for 46 hours. So between the wait time, I was usually there 6 hours. Luckily the office is 1 mile away. I could be home in bed in 5 minutes.
Sandy :)

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

congrats on finishing Sandy!  Curious - what is the plan now? 

Momof2plusteentwins's picture
Momof2plusteentwins
Posts: 455
Joined: May 2012

Now I see onc monthly for blood work and that includes CEA every month. I had PET/CT Dec 18th and it was neg (clear) and my CEA was < 0.5. I will be having CT every 3 months. Still scared all the time. I had 12 of 23 positive lymph nodes that were taken out during surgery in June. You never know.
Sandy :)

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

I can understand why you'd be scared, but I hope you continue to have good scans.   

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 545
Joined: Mar 2010

I waited to see the doctor, get my blood work and treatment was about 4 hours.  I was on Folfox.  Your husband's wait seems unnecessary.  Can't he just arrive later? 

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

hmmm..now I am second guessing, but I thought the oxy and leucorvin go together over 2 hours?  

He does the blood work and urine test the day before.  Apparently the wait is because they won't order the chemo til we get there are are weighed in (although he was weighed in the day before) and then they have 1 pharmacist mixing up the chemos. 

richls
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2012

It usually takes between 6-7 hours for my wifes treatment. We usually get there at eight thirty and we are lucky if we leave by three. Needless to say, it is a long day.

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

You seem to be on the same schedule as us.  It is a long day!

dmj101's picture
dmj101
Posts: 526
Joined: Nov 2011

5 hrs sounds about right..

1 hr with doc anc lab

wait 1 hour for infussion room to open

3.5 hours for infussion

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 970
Joined: Oct 2010

Oral tid (UFT/LV), about 1-2 minutes per day.  Never a line with home delivery.

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks tans :)  I bet she gets a better lunch than my husband gets too.    I hope your wife is doing well.   We may just look more into what you and John have done in the near future.

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3402
Joined: Apr 2010

Was the standard for the Oxy and avastin, will the cal/mag's etc.  If husband is thinking about kicking out the cal/mag, I often wondered myself if it was doing any good.  I ended up without it one visit because it was too late to get it.  I will NEVER ever again do without it.  Instead of 5 to 7 days without touching cold things and without drinking cold things, it took 14 days to touch and drink cold things again, and still didn't feel that good, it really makes a difference and I highly suggest he stick with it even though it is time consuming.

The reason they told me Avastin takes so long is they don't even order it, until you are there to get it, (they have to do the mixing and will not do that until patient is in house)accroding to the ladies at the OOU was that it is so expensive that they are very careful with that, so the not having it ready will lose you an hour before you even get there. 

I am now only doing Irinotecan, but rather then be there for 7 to 8 hours, down to 4 hours for a 2 hour procedure!!  LOL, waiting time, it adds up quickly when you have cancer.

Winter Marie

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks Marie.  It does add up and to be honest it makes me a bit angry that these doctors have the nerve to tell you that you have x amount of time left on this earth, and then expect you to sit around wasting time waiting.  

How are you handling the irinotecan - was talking to a lady on it at chemo and she seemed to be pretty beat up.  She couldn't do a lot of the other chemos though due to allergic reactions.  I hope you are handling it better!

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3402
Joined: Apr 2010

Jen,

Out of the 3 chemos, I don't know which one is the easiest, I know the hardest is the Oxy, due to the "cold" restrictions, the Xeloda was bad in that I'd keep forgetting to take it, and worry about taking it too much, or did I really have it already this morning, hhhmmm, did I really take it this morning, or was that yesterday?  And that's what drove me nuts with Xeloda, the not remembering if I did or didn't already take the pills.

With the Irinotecan, I know I got it.  So far, a little bit of diarrhea (but nothing worse then I've had before) and I have thrown up once each time, somewhere along the line after getting it, but that has been it so far.  Not tired, no aches or pains that are new. I pop one Imodium each day to keep it in check and it's working well for me.  Just hoping the chemo is shrinking those tumors!!  So I'm handling it very well. (okay, the hair loss was a bad side effect, but one I find I can live with rather well, still haven't shed a tear over it, more rather have accepted it, had this happened a year or two years ago, I'm sure I would have been in tears, but you grow up and accept what is going to happen in the cancer world eventually, I had a lot of time to think about it and deal with it)so I'd say, this would be my preference of chemo's so far.

I remember about a week after being diagnosed and given limited time, I was very anxious about NOT wasting my time.  I was in line at the bank, the guy in front was on his phone yakking into it, when the teller made the motion and said, next please, he stood still and continued to yak on his phone, and again she said, next please, and still he stood still and yakked on the phone.  Finally I pointed to the teller and told him, "she said she's available".  He turned to me and said, "Oh you're in a hurry?  Rushing through life?"  I turned on him and said, "No I'm DYING, with a few months to live and every second is precious and you just wasted minutes of what little time I have left yakking on your phone instead of paying attention to the world around you!", he finally went to the teller's window in a huff.  Oh well...hurry up and wait...does seem more  a waste of our time nowadays, or because we have cancer, we're more conscious of it.  I'm still working on getting my patience back!!

Winter Marie

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

Life does get frustrating after this diagnosis.  Many people just are annoying :)   It kind of funny, my husband is the one with cancer but he still wants to be out there and be social and I feel just pissed and don't want to be around people.  Seems like everyone is complaining about stupid things or even worse talking about retirement, getting old, etc.  It is getting a little easier and better though.

I hope this chemo does the trick - takes the cancer out along with the hair!

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4673
Joined: May 2005

I am only getting Erbitux and Irinotecan at this point. The Erbitux is a 1 hour infusion while the Irinotecan is 30 minutes. There's a few pre-meds and the usual "Chit-Chat" so overall the process takes 2 hours. Generally it takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to mix the meds.

I've found that the earlier I get in, the earlier I get out. There have been many times when I get in between 7:30 - 8:00am and I'm walking out the door by 11:30am. On very few occasions things have fallen through the cracks and I've gotten out late afternoon but by now I know the routine and if I'm not called in for bloodwork within 10 minutes of getting there or if it's taken over 2 hours and I'm not called back to start then I know something's wrong and I ask them about it...

Hope this helps
-phil

mukamom's picture
mukamom
Posts: 357
Joined: Oct 2010

at Princeton 4 years ago, 4 hours tops for FOLFRI.  Them girls had this down to a science...Labs report in a matter of minutes...hook up within 10 min. Every other week we saw the doc. Add 1/2 hour to that.

 

Now, at UAB.......UA every other week, wait an hour for results, get called back for vital signs, sent back out to wait for a chair. An hour later(more or less) called back again, hook up....infusions are at 3.5 hours, if we are lucky. When we see the doc once/month, add 2 hours.  An hour drive time each way and it can run anywhere from 7-9 hours.

 

I'm thinking the staff from Princeton needs to go to UAB and show them how it's done.

Chelsea71
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

I think early appointments work out better. When we go in early, we come out early. The chemo is ready to go when we arrive. The get him started on it and then they prepare the Avastin providing the bp is under 150.

Chelsea

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

Thanks everyone for replying.  Seems our wait isn't all that unusual, but it's still annoying!   We go the day before for blood work and then take the earliest appt we can get and it's still all day!  

Funny thing is we have 5 hospital within 10 - 15 mins - I suppose we could switch but there are some advantages too.  We'll see what happens in the coming months.

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